January 4, 2012 | Quote

US Urges Iran Oil Importers To Cut Purchases ‘Significantly’

“There's sufficient flexibility written into the law that the administration can make an assessment on the commitment that these countries have to either reduce the purchases of Iranian oil or driving discounts for Iranian oil,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director at the Washington think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The group has been pushing for more sanctions on Iran.

“For Congress, that would be a desirable outcome,” said Dubowitz. It reduces the price without taking Iranian oil out of the market, but still forcing a material impact on Iranian oil revenue, he said. …

In a report prepared for policymakers, Dubowitz estimated a well-coordinated embargo could force down Iranian government revenues by up to 50%. “Eliciting commitments from other OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] producers to offset any disruption of Iranian supply, giving Chinese firms a pass on compliance and allowing other companies enough time to adjust, would minimize the impact on oil prices and maximize the impact on Iranian revenue,” the report said. 

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